It's chocolatey. It's creamy. It's icy cold. And it's so thick, you'd have a hard time drawing it through a straw. It's Wendy's Frosty - the winner of our milk shake taste test.
Several Monitor volunteers visited outlets of Wendy's, McDonald's, and Burger King, the "Big Three" of burgers and shakes, to find America's best fast-food milk shake. The Wendy's Frosty, described by one taster as "the perfect blend of chocolate and milk," far outdistanced its two competitors.
The Frosty, resembling soft ice cream, is eaten most easily with a spoon. When a photographer turned one over (photo, right), it was so cold and solid that it stayed in the cup for nearly 10 minutes before it fell with a sucking sound in a single blob to the ground.
The milk shake ratings were done this way: Testers rated each on a scale of 100. The best shake got 100. Others were rated as a percentage of the leader. So if a tester thought a shake was only half as good as the leader, it would get a score of 50.
Frosty got a near-perfect 98.3 out of a possible 100. McDonald's scored an average 87.7, while the Burger King shake trailed far behind at 58.2.
McDonald's shakes were praised for "good texture" (nice and thick). But some panelists thought it was "a little airy" and had a "weak chocolate flavor."
Burger King, which won our earlier hamburger contest, lost its crown on this one. Monitor panelists said its shakes were "too sweet," "like bubble bath," far too thin ("like drinking air"), as well as "liquidy," and "syrupy."
Next: Ice cream bars.